Want to write more and sell more of your writing? Try journaling.
Sadly, when I suggest journaling to some writers, they tell me that they don’t have time.
“Journaling? I don’t have time to journal…”
Somerset Maugham is one of my favorite authors. He kept writing journals all his life. (If you get a chance, read his book, A Writer’s Notebook, which is based on his journals.)
Maugham traveled, and journaled, then wrote novels and short stories inspired by his travels and journaling.
Some writing quotes from the inimitable Mr Maugham…
- The best style is the style you don’t notice.
- I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.
- If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.
- To write simply is as difficult as to be good.
Let’s look at how journaling helps you to create more and sell more.
1. Prewriting works: use journaling for prewriting to write more and publish more
I use journaling primarily as a form of prewriting, because if you spend your time thinking, rather than writing, you’ll block. Prewriting is thinking, on the page. It’s a warmup. It gets you into your “writing” groove.
Prewriting works. Prove it to yourself. For the next couple of days, each time you sit down to write, prewrite first. Not only will you write, and avoid procrastination, your writing will improve.
2. Journal a book: use journaling to get motivated (works great for authors)
Journaling gets you motivated. It works brilliantly for authors. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, spend a little time journaling about your book.
Talk to yourself in your journal — you know more than you think you do, and you’ll inspire yourself.
- Ask questions (what should my protagonist do now? How can I surprise the reader?)
- Complain (I hate this book, why did I start it? It will never sell, and I’ve wasted all this time… yada, yada… :-))
- Dialogue with a character if you’re writing fiction (what’s your biggest fear? What do you want to do now?)
- List possible resources if you’re writing nonfiction (Google search queries, organizations you might contact, books you might read…)
3. Whenever you need motivation, journal 20 ways
Sometimes your self-talk turns negative: it’s a destroyer of your writing — and you.
Examples of negativity:
- “I can’t get clients…” Write down 20 ways you could get all the clients you can handle in two weeks;
- “I can’t get subscribers to my mailing list…” Write down 20 ways you could get to 1,000 subscribers in three months;
- “I can’t outline my novel…” Write down five attributes your main character might have. Choose one, then write ten one-sentence descriptions of scenes which reveal this attribute in action.
Whenever you find yourself thinking or saying about your writing: “I can’t…” take that as a challenge to journal 20 ways in which you could, and WILL.
Journaling helps to eliminate procrastination. Writers write, and the more they write, the better and more confident they become. Over time, you’ll look for challenges you’d previously considered impossible, because you’ll know that you can handle anything by journaling your thoughts and ideas.
Journal. Have fun. 🙂
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